Working fried chicken into your diet


July 09, 1991|By Colleen Pierre, R.D.

If you love fried chicken and just can't live without it, here's a neat trick that turns a greasy guilt trip into a well-balanced lunch.

First of all, let me answer everybody's question about Kentucky Fried Chicken's new Lite 'n Crispy chicken. No, it's not the lowfat wonder they pretend.

It's true that the skinless Lite 'n Crispy is 50 percent lower in fat than the Extra Crispy version. One Extra Crispy thigh, for example, contains 406 calories and 30 grams of fat. A Lite 'n Crispy thigh contains only 246 calories and 17 grams of fat.

While this is a big improvement, it is no nutritional bargain. The same skinless chicken thigh baked at home would contain only 165 calories and 9 grams of fat.

Still, if you've just got to have it, do this. Along with a piece or two ofchicken, order two side salads (about 50 calories each) with one package of low cal dressing (about 10 calories). Then add any of the following until you've eaten enough to fill you up: Mashed potatoes and gravy (59 calories, no fat), corn on the cob (176 calories, 3 grams fat), baked beans (105 calories, 1 gm fat). Just avoid that innocent-looking biscuit (269 calories, 14 grams fat!)

Women who are maintaining their weight (not trying to gain or lose) can eat on average about 2,000 calories a day and 60 grams of fat. Men average about 3,000 calories a day and can have 90 grams of fat.

Lunch should provide about a third of your calories and fat for the day. (When you eat more of your calories earlier in the day you feel better, perform better and don't fall prey to binge eating at night.)

So a woman's lunch should contain 600 calories and 20 grams offat. One piece of chicken, two salads and mashed potatoes and gravy adds up to 340 calories and 12 grams of fat, well within the confines of a diet meal! You could even add a carton of skim milk and a piece of fruit from a nearby convenience store.

A man's lunch should contain 1,000 calories and 30 grams of fat. Two pieces of chicken, two salads with low-cal dressing, corn and baked beans totals 775 calories and 28 grams of fat. Still room for skim milk and fresh fruit!

Surely this will get you through the afternoon. It also puts you well on your way to getting the vitamins, minerals and fiber you need by including plenty of fruits and vegetables and even a serving of milk.

Good nutrition is easy and delicious, even at Kentucky Fried.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant to the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center in Baltimore and national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

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